DT 29814 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29814 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29814 (Hints)

The Saturday Crossword Club (hosted by Gazza)

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Tilsit is once more hard at work this morning so I’m providing a few hints to get you started. There’s a reasonable amount of GK required today and there’s one clue (30a) which I don’t really understand. I’ll be interested in your views.

Most of the terms used in these hints are explained in the Glossary and examples are available by clicking on the entry under “See also”. Where the hint describes a construct as “usual” this means that more help can be found in The Usual Suspects, which gives a number of the elements commonly used in the wordplay. Another useful page is Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing, which features words with meanings that are not always immediately obvious.

A full review of this puzzle will be published after the closing date for submissions.

Some hints follow.

Across Clues

1a Award half-decent speech (10)
Join together half of the word decent and a formal speech.

11a Picked up something from Rome that smells nice (9)
This sounds like (picked up) what’s associated with the Church of Rome and its head.

12a Air support on course to cover Matthew and son (8)
The support thingy on a golf course that’s so useful to crossword setters contains an alternative name for the apostle Matthew and the abbreviation for son.

15a Men provided something cold for opening (7)
Assemble the abbreviation for soldiers who aren’t officers, a conjunction meaning provided and something cold.

27a Theatre regularly ignored Friends character? Blow it! (9)
Ignore every other letter from the word theatre and add the forename of one of the female characters from the TV series Friends.

30a Rich remark made to tailor for a job well done (4-6)
I don’t really understand why you’d compliment a tailor in such a way – surely it’s what you might say to a cobbler who’d done a good repair? (or am I missing something?). Update: the clue has now been updated on the Puzzles website with ‘tailor’ changed to ‘cobbler’ (though one part of the answer is still in the clue).

Down Clues

1d Obligation of French telecom company (4)
Charade of the French word for ‘of’ and a British telecom company.

3d Perhaps write right verse (5)
Write and right are an example of the answer.

5d Food over at breakfast? (7)
String together the cricket abbreviation for an over, AT (from the clue) and what breakfast is an example of.

7d Mysterious meteoroid oddly missing base (5)
Strip away the odd letters of meteoroid and append the letter that is used for the base in logarithms.

25d Group own all but the last two (5)
This is a verb to own without the last two letters.

26d Promise part of hospital will get oxygen for American (4)
Start with a hospital room and replace the abbreviation for American with the chemical symbol for oxygen.

The Crossword Club is now open.

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As this is a Prize crossword, please don’t put any ANSWERS, whether WHOLE, PARTIAL or INCORRECT, or any ALTERNATIVE CLUES in your comment. If in doubt, leave it out!

Please read these instructions carefully – they are not subject to debate or discussion. Offending comments may be redacted or, in extreme cases, deleted. In all cases the administrator’s decision is final.

The Quick Crossword pun: MAT + RIM + HONEY = MATRIMONY



102 comments on “DT 29814 (Hints)

  1. 3*/2.5*. I found this SPP quite challenging in places with a couple of hmms, but I did enjoy most of it.

    I thought “something from Rome” in 11a was a bit odd and I don’t think the definition in 24a is accurate. It seems to me that the wrong tradesman is cited in 30a, and I was surprised to see part of the answer in the clue.

    I did have a lot of ticked clues: 6a, 12a, 21a, 27a, 1d, 4d & 9d, and, of these, 6a was probably my favourite.

    Many thanks to the setter and to super-sub Gazza.

  2. Great puzzle, just the right amount of difficulty for me — I learned a new word at 9d which I will look forward to using — but I am equally confused by 30a, including why a word from the answer would be found in the clue.

  3. I agree with Gazza re 30a. A very odd clue indeed. This was a strange crossword with some I still do not get such as 10a, not sure I would call the answer something a cricketer might hold. 17a and 19a wrestle for the wooden spoon. Needed Gazza’s very useful hint to get my last one 12a. Cheers Gazza and a half hearted hurrah for the compiler.

    1. The operative word is, I think, “like”.

      So, what’s brown and sticky? A stick!

      Do that in reverse as an adjective.

      1. You’ve expanded your alias so your comment went into moderation. All the aliases you’ve used will work from now on.

          1. (Possibly) doubling the last letter and adding Y is a way of expressing likeness for a noun, e.g. chummy means ‘like a chum’.

            1. Yes I understand that but but the clue defines how to get the first three letters but there’s no clue for the last two!

              1. I’ve done my best to explain it. Perhaps whoever writes the full review will be more eloquent than I.

      2. I get why the last letter is there for “like” but I don’t see where in the clue that letter comes from

  4. Certainly a game of two halves. The top was super and well written but the bottom was very tough.
    Learned a new definition for the word in 9d. Had no idea who the person in the middle of 12a is or what he has to do with Matthew.
    Probably a par Saturday puzzle.
    Thx to all

    1. It is biblical I am afraid, Matthew AKA ???? along with the abbreviation for son all in the usual support (for a ball)

  5. A strange mixture of pretty straightforward clues with a few head scratchers (2.5*/3*) but enjoyable. I liked the double anagram at 14d/8d and 11a was quite a good homophone but 24a was well costructed and is my COTD. I can offer no assistance with 30a and felt that a different kind of craftsman/clothier would have fitted the clue better (if I’ve got it right– I might be barking up the wrong tree). Thank you to Gazza for stepping in to do the hints and to the setter for an intriguingly different SPP.

  6. A very mixed bag for me and I have to agree with RD where 24a is concerned. As for 30a it seems wrong on two counts – the wrong tradesman and the inclusion of one of the words of the clue in the answer. Ah well, all part of life’s rich tapestry!
    Top two here were the simple 13a & 4d.

    Thanks to our setter for his efforts and to Gazza for manning the fort yet again.

    1. The right answer for 30a was my first thought Jane but dismissed it until it couldn’t be anything else chiefly because of the word repetition in addition to the wrong tradesman. Would have read better as for a good job.

    2. I’ve noticed lately that I’m going (if not gone) bonkers. I immediately solved 30a and never even noticed. I guess I just saw “rich” and nothing else.

  7. A*** for difficulty because of 10a 11a 12a 27a and as others have commented I simply don’t get 30a – perhaps ‘cobbler’ would have been better! Thank you anyway setter and Gazza

    1. The clue seems to have been changed on my iPad version from tailor to cobbler since I did this puzzle earlier this morning.

  8. A bit of an odd mixture today. ***/ ** The anagram at 14d and 8d is intriguing. I’m left wondering what is the relevance of trinity in the clue. Needed the hints to understand 12a which was a bung in. 17a and 19a seem weak clues for a cryptic and quite what was going on with 30a, I’ve no idea. Too much a case of bung in the answer and then work out why for my liking. Favourite 27a. Thanks to all.

  9. Slow start but then steady progress once underway. South came in first. Agree with everything RD says re 24a, 30a and 11a (sure Brian will like this and indeed 12a!). Didn’t even try to abide by MP rules for 14/8d but worked it out in a circle. 9d hung fire in spite of guessing last 5 letters (whole now added to vocabulary). I can’t really parse last 2 letters in 10a. 22a iffy. Bunged in wrong word for 26d. Too many good clues to single out a Fav. Thank you Mysteron and Gazza.

    1. Angellov, the key to 10a is that the answer is not “what a cricketer might hold” (which would be a noun) but it is “quite like what a cricketer might hold” (i.e. an adjective).

  10. Well I am hating this puzzle and have still got half a dozen left at the bottom. Will give it a break and come back to it. I don’t understand the referenc to Trinity in 8/14 either. I thought Friends a perfectly awful programme so had to took that person up (canned laughter leaves me cold). As you can see I am very grumpy as its ages since I couldn’t finish bit I may come back later in a better frame of mind having finished! Rant over.

      1. Course it is! Thanks, I think the capital T threw me. Just one left now, 29a. Can only be one word but still can’t parse it – bad hair day today.

        1. If you have the correct solution for 29a, it is a homophone (for the audience) of a synonym of unpleasant

          1. Thanks, it would have helped if I had checked 23d as this little machine is very sensitive and I must have inadvertently changed the last letter at some point. So all done and dusted now. Thanks again.

      1. Welcome to the blog – Paddington Bear’s home is ‘screened’ by the words Picture Place – from the east tells you which way round to look for it

    1. It is always a good idea to read the comments before making your own as not only has this been mentioned before but you would also learn that the online clue now has the correct tradesman

  11. Found this challenging and it contained too many clues that were “clever” (eg 11a, 12a) dubious (30a) to really enjoy. Also I must confess my GK does not stretch to stars of US comedy series. Still it was considerably better than the booster / flu jab and morning dog walk in the rain that followed
    If my memory serves me right Robert will find the 14a / 8d combination an absolute gimme.
    Thanks to setter and super-sub Gazza for the hints.

    1. Robert did, LROK. A few moments of quiet celebration here in my den as I remembered those grand days at Cripps Hall (as moral tutor) and in the classroom (as lecturer): the summum bonum of my career. And the only episode of that unfortunate series I ever watched was the one where Brad Pitt made a guest appearance and parodied the whole silly shebang!

          1. I graduated (in Chemistry) in 1971 so I think I just missed you. I spent many a happy hour in Cripps watching my friend’s (illegal) black and white TV. He had three notches cut into his window sill corresponding to the positions for his aerial cable for BBC1, BBC2 and ITV. Very happy, uncomplicated days.

  12. Agree with RD’s comments, in particular 24a – I can’t see how that means what it was meant to mean. Very much a curate’s egg of a puzzle

  13. I did the wrong tradesman version and concur with the comments already made and I guess the editor responsible for the revision does too. I groaned at 11a too, a bung in that caused a groan when Gazza explained what Italy had to do with it.
    The rest of the puzzle was done fairly rapidly with few gripes. The butcher in the family (Mama Bee’s Dad) would prefer 4d not be described as a “joint” but I am picking my teeth a bit here ( As is often the case with 4d if not cooked well)
    14/8d was a well-constructed clue that fooled me for a while too.

    Thanks to Gazza and setter and good luck to Tilsit in his (semi) retirement.

  14. A bit of a mixed bag for me, some great highs and some sorry lows, I fear. 12a held me up until I started researching the Apostle and discovered that he was also known by his name as a tax collector. (Did I ever know this? Were my days at Bible Sword Drills wasted?) On the other hand, I have the fondest memories of my year as an exchange professor at 14/8d (1971-72, 50 years ago now!), where my Anglophilia was honed, and where my academic career peaked. I couldn’t imagine why that tailor was doing the job of a cobbler, however, in 30a. Did Homer nod? Thanks to Gazza for stepping in again, and to today’s setter. *** / ***

  15. What others have said! Not the best of SPPs on a number of levels. **/**.

    No standout favourites but I do like 9d as a word that we don’t see enough of.

    Thanks to the setter and our super-sub.

  16. Really enjoyed 6a, 11a, 12a, 27a, and 9d today. Glad I’m far from alone in finding 30a a bit suspect. Last one in was 29a – not a word I was familiar with, but not too difficult to invent from the checking letters.

  17. Well I’m glad 30a has been sorted out before I got round to posting. That one took the edge of an otherwise enjoyable puzzle; not the best, but reasonably challenging. 6a was a very well disguised reverse lurker and was my top clue this afternoon. 11a was a cringe worthy runner up.

    My thanks to our Saturday setter and to Gazza for filling in.

  18. I was back into Giovanni time with this one & am blaming blocked up ears (costing a fortune in olive oil) for my brain malfunction. 12a was last in & probably my pick. All parsed ok other than 11a which I’m not sure I fully understand even after reading Gazza’s hint. Can’t say I was a fan of this one & agree with the comments already expressed – 17&19a only mildly cryptic, 24a tenuous if not inaccurate, 10a iffy in my book & 30a bit of dog’s dinner on two fronts. That said I did like 9d & 15a.
    Thanks to the setter & to Gazza for stepping in.

    1. Thanks, H, for your reference to L Marvin in Point-Blank the other day. I do sort of remember it and will try to watch it again. Also, today’s Philistine’s Prize today in the Guardian, which I just finished, is most enjoyable. Sorry about your ears.

      1. I’m battling with 3 left in Philly’s Prize & am going to see if I can watch Point Blank again – haven’t seen it in years. Golf yesterday was quite a novel experience with my balance off kilter but thankfully am getting my ears syringed on Tuesday which can’t come soon enough.

  19. 27a was a bung-in. I’d managed to work out the first three letters from the clue, then put in the rest, but had to google characters in Friends just to check. I haven’t watched a single episode. 30a wasn’t a problem as I was late in printing my subscription copy off. A little bit of head scratching with one or two clues, but enjoyable nonetheless. Thank you setter and Gaza. I was away last week, unexpectedly, and have come back to sixteen out of date eggs. Fourteen are fine, I just have to think what I can do with them all. Last time I faced this situation CS very kindly suggested that I make an Amalfi lemon tart. It was delicious, but I haven’t got any lemons, and I’m not sure I want to drive off to find some.

    1. Freeze them Florence. Crack and mix them lightly and add half a teaspoon of either sugar or salt per six eggs. Freeze in an ice cube tray and then transfer into a bag and use as needed. Works well.

    2. Hear hear Florence I too know nothing about Friends but the name was a natural follow-on to the first 3 letters.

  20. Not a lot left to say that hasn’t already been said. My ticks went to 21a plus 4,20&25d
    Many thanks to the setter and to super sub Gazza.

  21. I didn’t get on well with this one and I still cannot get 16d, which is my last. No doubt leaving it alone for a while will help but the part of my brain that says “is it worth it?” is taking over. Not overly enjoyable for me and I have no stand out clues.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Gazza for stepping in for the hard working Tilsit.

  22. Another dnf for me, 16d( really?) and 29a. I thought 30a was what it was but as the paper said tailor couldn’t justify putting it in. A bit trickier than the usual Saturday prize crossword I thought. Thanks to all.

    1. Welcome to the blog – I’ve redacted your clue as it strayed into ‘alternative hint territory’

      If you read the many other comments about this clue, you’ll see that it has now been changed.

  23. Rather quirky today not helped by the error in 30a. Lots to like though including 11a.
    My solve only being interrupted by watching Chelsea scoring 7 goals. So a good day all round!

    Thanks to setter and Gazza

  24. A struggle for me today. Inevitably, Gazza’s excellent hints were for clues I had already solved (well guessed at for 30a),
    so the electronic gizmo came into its own. As did coffee and thickly buttered fruit gingerbread ….they didn’t help the solve but were very enjoyable.

    Thanks to the setter and to Gazza.

  25. I had the same problems as most of the commentators before me so I won’t comment further but Google came to the rescue on a couple of occasions. Favourite was 4d. Thanks to the setter and Gazza.

  26. Found this puzzle really hard to get going but when I did , most of it came without too much problem, but definitely some tricky spots. **/*** for me today. New word in 9d for me.
    Candidates for favourites include 10a, 12a, 17a, the 8d/14d pair & 30a with winner 8d/14d
    Solved 30a with the ‘tailor’ version as it is what it had to be, and did not see the change in the electronic version until it was brought to my attention in the comments.

    Thanks to setter and Gazza

  27. Disappointed with 30a – the answer really shouldn’t contain part of the clue. Otherwise straightforward.

  28. Oops, I’ve landed on an alien planet and am not sure I speak the same language. Fortunately there are enough similarities so that I could solve about half. I had to make copious references to google, e.g., I’ve never watched Friends so never knew any of the characters. I only solved 14/8d because of the anagram, there are so many of them, didn’t know this one. I knew the Golf Club at 9d so was able to piece it together. I had no clue why Rome at 11a but I think that’s rather clever. All in all, a strange experience. I loved 6a, isn’t he everyone’s favourite?
    Thanks setter, I wonder where you are? Anywhere near my planet? Thanks Gazza for bringing me back to Earth.

    1. I quite agree, Merusa. An alien spirit who needed an Earthling translator somehow got hold of the grid today. It was rather raw and needed a good editor. I’m surprised at its making it through the filtre to a Saturday Prize category.

  29. I loved 10a – it made me laugh! The same kind of things that make me laugh – anything that ends with an ‘ish’ always!
    I think we’ve ‘met’ this setter just before 10a and it made me laugh then – if I could just remember!! Damn.
    I could get quite a decent number of answers today – wish I could keep going like it.
    Thanks to the setter and to Gazza too – for getting in the way!!

    1. Of course you can keep it going, Kath, just think of how far you’ve already come.
      So nice to ‘see’ rather more of you – we’ve missed you dreadfully.

      1. Second that, Jane, the missing part. I used to look for Kath’s comments every day, they were always so constructive.

    2. Hello Kath

      I echo Jane’s comments. Please do keep going. We love it when you drop in and comment.

    3. It’s great to hear from you, Kath, and you’re obviously getting better all the time. You’ll be solving whole puzzles in no time.
      I thought of you when I solved 10a. I’d better clarify that – I meant that I know it’s the sort of clue you like!

  30. Another Saturday dnf for me.

    Got 11a but had no idea about the association. Amazed so many have heard of this obscure bit of trivia.

    9d defeated me. Maybe having heard of the golfing resort would have helped. A good new word though! 😀

    12a was a religious clue so stumped again.

    As I do the paper version, 30a was confusing as it was for others.

    Thanks to all.

  31. A bit of a Curate’s Egg this one, some clues ludicrously easy, some I didn’t really understand and some that were real teasers. Overall, an enjoyable solve and both my wife and I get a mention! Thanks to the setter and Gazza

  32. It still does not hold for me. No way can you describe a cricketer that way. There were some good clues, but far too many very poor clues today

  33. Very odd puzzle, soldiered on and came back to it several times and almost got there in the end, had 9 clues to check/confirm I was right (write?) with Big Dave, but for the life of me I still can’t get 29A, I can get a look but not an audience!

    1. “for the audience” indicates a homophone so what you want is a ‘look’ that sounds like ‘unpleasant’.

      1. Thanks Gazza, that confirms what I thought it was (although not a word I would use – another one I had to check online!)

        Was on holiday last week so able to get most days done with two or three to confirm on BD, and a couple of gaps, but yesterday was a shocker – lots to check!

  34. 30a was corrected on line. My husband used the paper version and it said tailor, the on line version said cobbler!

  35. Finished this with the help of just one hint (not 30a which had to be what it had to be). Thanks to Gazza for standing in today, and for supplying a hint which I needed – quite unusual on a prize day! There are so many comments on the various rather strange clues that there is no need for me to add to them. I found it fairly difficult but finished in reasonable time. Thanks to setter for the brain exercise.

  36. I’m sorry, but this one left me grumpy too often.

    Even after reading the hint, I’m barely seeing the semi homophone in 11a, especially since as far as I’m concerned, it’s the second syllable that gets stressed – and what’s more, with an “oar” rather than an “err” sound – when the answer is pronounced correctly. 12a requires more biblical knowledge than I can muster up – but perhaps that’s my failing. The answer to 16d isn’t really synonymous with both parts of its clue and 14d/8a isn’t strictly speaking a college either. And then we have the doubly flawed 30a putting the cherry on top of my curmudgeonliness (is that even a word?).


    1. Welcome to the blog

      It is a splendid word, even if it doesn’t appear in the dictionary as yet

      1. Thanks, Sue. I clearly need to work on not sweating the small stuff, because 30a is still irking. I did wonder whether socks were intended to be involved initially, before the online correction was made, but that would have been just too abstruse. Something like “Rich congratulations for physician from the audience” would have been a much better clue to my mind – but nevertheless I now clearly need to follow the excellent advice in the theme song from Disney’s Frozen and “let it go”.

  37. I don’t think I’m alone in thinking this a rather peculiar puzzle?
    Although 11a has to be what it is I really cannot parse it.
    8d was a clever anagram that took me longer than it should.
    Despite not being a Friends addict I liked 27a.
    Now to collect the Sunday paper and tackle today’s Dada. I suppose he’ll be there?

  38. I’m a little late in posting, but for those of you who might still peruse the comments, I have a nice story for you.
    My Dad became very unwell a few years ago, and spent a moderate amount of time in hospital. This was back in the days when we could easily visit our loved ones in hospital, and at the time we started a new hobby. To help the hours pass, we spent our time working through cryptic crosswords as a family. Thankfully my Dad got better and left the hospital, but me and him kept the interest in cryptic crosswords. This was 5 years ago now, and we still do our best to do the Daily Telegraph prize cryptics together when we can.
    This is all pertinent to this specific puzzle, as on the date of release (23rd October 2021), I got married. During my Dad’s speech, he shared this crossword story with the room, and surprised me by giving me the days crossword! He had contacted the setter and had arranged for a couple of clues to be snuck into the crossword, just for me. I won’t share them all, but I will say that it has made me smile to see many commenters saying that 8d/14d was one of their top clues, as this is where me and my husband met.
    Happy puzzling!

    1. What a thoughtful gesture from your Dad and how kind of the setter to adjust his puzzle to suit your special day.
      I’m sure that’s something you will remember every time you look at another crossword – perhaps you’ll even consider joining in our merry BD gang!

    2. Great story, one of our other regular commenters (Robert Clarke) was particularly keen on 14d/8d as he used to teach there back in the day. I do hope you keep crosswording and commenting and these stories are a good part of what makes this blog so charming.

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